8th March 2019
“Women’s Day is stupid. Bloody Femo-nazis.”
We wish we could say that’s us paraphrasing or making up a sensational headline but sadly it was actually a comment we overheard in the street today. And it’s just one of the reasons why International Women’s Day is still relevant.
The original aim of International Women’s Day – to achieve full gender equality for women of the world – has still not been realised. A gender pay gap persists across the globe and according to the World Economic Forum it won’t close until 2186. That’s over a century away. Add to that the fact that women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics and that, globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men, and things can start getting depressing.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. For the past couple of years, women’s rights have dominated the news, following a global reckoning on sexual misconduct rippling through industries. Starting in the entertainment industry the #MeToo movement has given a voice to women everywhere on the abuse and harassment they suffer at work and in their everyday lives.
The theme for IWD 2019 is #BalanceForBetter, a nod to the growing global push for professional and social equality. Described as a “business issue”, the aim of the theme is to encourage gender balance in boardrooms, in the media and in wealth as a way for economies to thrive. And it is starkly relevant in the industry we work in. To this day advertising still relies heavily on gender stereotypes to sell. In 2018 The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media analysed more than 2,000 ads from the Cannes Lions archive and found that women were more likely to be shown in the kitchen, while men were more likely to be found at a sporting event.
At Nick Did This, we’re lucky enough to be over 50% female. But while women influence about 80% of consumer spending, they comprise only 3% of the creative director roles. So it’s no wonder that 90% of women feel like ads don’t speak to them in a way that understands who they are. We should be thinking equal and building smart and innovative advertising that smashes prevailing stereotypes. Ads like Always’ #LikeAGirl, Nike’s ‘Dream Crazier’ and Gillete’s ‘The Best Men Can Be’. Love them or hate them, these commercials have challenged norms, sparked conversation and firmly positioned their brands as ones that are seeking #BalanceForBetter. And that can only be a good thing.